Wayne Kubsch sentenced to life in prison in 1998 triple murder
At a hearing Friday, a St. Joseph County judge accepted Wayne Kubsch's plea agreement in the deaths of his wife, her ex-husband and his stepson. All three were killed in 1998 in Mishawaka.
Wayne Kubsch will serve two consecutive life sentences for the murders of his wife, Beth Kubsch, and her ex-husband Rick Milewski.
The murder charge for the death of 11-year-old Aaron Milewski was dismissed as part of the plea agreement, in February 2019.
“It’s the best that we could make of a bad situation is what it is, obviously you can’t bring victims back these families have been grieving for 20 years without their loved ones but where we’re at now, it’s the best we can do with that," said Chris Fronk, Chief Deputy Prosecutor.
After consulting with the family, the prosecutor's office decided not to seek the death penalty this time around.
“Originally this was a death penalty case, it was a death penalty case the second time, we anticipated it was going to be a death penalty case a third time. The family actually asked us to take the death penalty off, because they wanted to have closure," said Ken Cotter, St. Joseph County Prosecutor. “They wanted to remember the loved ones, not remember him every time he came back with another appeal.”
Kubsch has twice been convicted and sentenced to death in this case. His 2000 conviction and death sentence was overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court in 2003 and he was granted a new trial.
He was convicted again and sentenced to death in 2005, but that conviction was overturned by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in September 2016.
After the conviction was overturned in September 2016 by the court of appeals, the prosecutor's office asked for the Supreme Court to hear the case.
In May 2017, the court declined to hear the case.
In August 2017, prosecutors announced Kubsch would face another trial.
The family didn't want to go through a death penalty case trial a third time.
“We can finally not have to worry about another hearing in Chicago or somewhere, you know, just go on with our lives and do the best we can for her son and her brothers and sisters that she loved so much," said Diane Mauk, Beth's mother.